Discover more about dissolution of marriage and how it is associated to conventional divorce.
A dissolution of marriage, what is it? Is it just another way to say divorce? In a lot of states, yes, a dissolution simply is in referral to how spouses can permanently terminate their marriage. But in a couple of states, it’s an entirely different process. Keep reading to find out more.
Dissolution Versus Divorce
In a couple of states, a dissolution of marriage isn’t the same as divorces since it doesn’t completely end the marriage. In other states, spouses can only use dissolution under particular circumstances, like when they agree to the dissolution and on a way to resolve all of their divorce-related matters, including child support and custody, spousal maintenance, and the division of property.
Dissolution is not the same as getting an annulment, in which effectually nullifies (erases) the spouse’s marriage. Dissolution of marriage is not the same as a legal separation either. Legal separations allow spouses, for spiritual or other reasons, to petition the court to establish divorce-related matters, such as child and spousal support, without terminating the marriage legally. If a court authorizes a legal separation, the couple is “practically” divorced, but neither spouse can get remarried until filing for a dissolution.
This post’s purpose is to place more focus on the more typical use of the term.
What Is a Summary Dissolution?
In many states, courts call these cases “summary dissolution,”—which is an expedite to divorce. In summary dissolutions, divorcing spouses submit to the court a signed marital settlement agreement, dealing with child support and custody, division of property, and spousal support. By submitting the signed divorce agreement to a judge, both spouses agree to waive a trial or judicial interference. Spouses must fulfill the state’s requirements for summary dissolution to be eligible for this fast-tracked legal process.
For instance, in the state of California, spouses are able to use the state’s summary dissolution process, when:
- the spouses fulfill the state’s residency regulations for divorce
- each of the spouses agree to the legal grounds for the petition
- the spouses do not have minor children, and neither one is pregnant
- the marriage is less than five years
- neither of the spouses is owner of real property (excluding a present residence)
- the spouses do not have more than four-thousand dollars in marital debt (except a vehicle note)
- the spouse’s community property is less than twenty-five thousand dollars, and neither spouse owns more than twenty-five thousand dollars in individual property
- the couple carryout an agreement for asset division and debts from their marriage
- neither spouse requests spousal maintenance
- both spouses renounce a right to appeal, and
- each of the spouses agree to terminate the marriage.
In states that acknowledge this kind of divorce, the cost is considerably less than a contested divorce.
Hiring an Attorney
A dissolution of marriage can be difficult on many levels since it involves potentially convoluted and emotionally charged matters, like child custody and child support, division of property and debt, and spousal maintenance.
Consequently, spouses thinking about dissolution of marriage might want to pursue legal counsel. A knowledgeable family law attorney can explain each of these legal matters and how they might play out in your specific case. Additionally, an attorney can prepare all required divorce documents and guarantee that your rights are fully safeguarded, whether you end up settling all matters with your spouse (devoid of court) or going through a full-fledged divorce trial.
In addition to helping guide you through the legal phases of divorce, a knowledgeable attorney can also go over your case to establish if you would benefit from divorce mediation, collaborative divorce (when available), or an on-line divorce request.
Lina Guillen, A. (2021, July 2). What is a dissolution of marriage? www.divorcenet.com. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.divorcenet.com/legal-advice/divorce/divorce-basics/what-dissolution-marriage
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